Skip navigation

President’s Speeches & Writings

Good morning, everyone and welcome back to another great year at Tidewater Community College!

Thank you, Dr. Morrisey for coming today to celebrate with us.  This is an honor for TCC and especially for me. We are delighted to have you here, and thanks so much for your leadership as Interim Chancellor of the VCCS.

Wow!  Thank you Rachael, Sarah, Curt, and Lynn for those very kind remarks.

I want to recognize and thank our supportive TCC Board – Chair Lynn Clements – and all of you with us this morning.  You are amazing and very much appreciated.

I also want to recognize my husband, Clidell, who is with us today.  He has been on this journey with me a long time, and I am very grateful. 

I am humbled by and grateful for the confidence placed in me today, just as I was in January 2020 to be selected and to continue to serve as President.  And now that it’s been three years, I don’t feel like a new president, but I now feel “official.” 

I have often reflected on my interviews, and I remember walking the halls in the District Building with a feeling of belonging.  I also recall walking around the Norfolk Campus one evening – in the dark – and being recognized by a couple of employees who knew me, but I did not know them.  I also thought about the drive my husband and I took and visited the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake campuses. TCC has always felt like home; I love this institution; the work we are doing; and I am proud to be a part of this wonderful community that has very graciously accepted me.   

Thank you for this privilege and for all the support that has been shown to me during the past years. It has been an amazing journey so far, and like you, I look forward to the opportunities and challenges to continue TCC on the path as one of the premier institutions in the country. 

Of course, this can only be accomplished with the help of a very capable leadership team, the President’s Cabinet, and outstanding, nationally recognized and committed faculty and staff, which I am proud to say that we have today. 

At the end of December 2022, I distributed our collegewide “Year End Review.”  This document highlighted a few of the accomplishments you all achieved last year.  There was so much more to include, but I always try to keep it to two pages.  The point I am making is that we are doing so much great work on behalf of this community and the students we serve. 

And there’s so much more to be done!

As we start this New Year, this morning, I want to encourage each of you to remain focused

Let us remain focused on the reasons we do this work every day!

Let us remain focused on the needs of our community!

Let us remain focused on the changing landscape of education!

Let us remain focused on the emerging workforce!

Above all, let us remain focused on doing everything we can do to ensure the success of our students! That’s both curriculum and workforce students!

We have a five-year strategic plan, Innovate 2026, with six lofty and achievable strategic directions to serve as our guide.  Our vision is “To be our community’s first choice for education, opportunity, partnership, and innovation.

I believe that if we remain focused on our vision and work according to the strategic plan, TCC will continue to move forward. 

As I was preparing my remarks for today, I spent a great deal of time looking at the goals outlined under each of the strategic directions.  And I must say that I am pleased with the work that’s being done to address the College goals.  For example, as we continue to improve enrollment, the strategies implemented under Dr. Campbell’s leadership to eliminate barriers and improve registration processes are proving to be successful. 

Also, Dr. Woodhouse’s leadership to expand dual enrollment and establish more off campus instructional sites across our region is making a tremendous difference in first-time students.  Of course, VP Aasen keeps us abreast with current data and changing demographics. Our outstanding marketing efforts and social media, as well as addressing college-wide technology and facility needs – and expanding scholarship and financial aid opportunities; all these initiatives are making a difference in student enrollment and success. 

As president, I will tell you that I am running.  But, I am running with “patience,” because I know that while we are seeing movement, our enrollment growth and other successes will be a marathon, and not a sprint!

Let us remain focused!

We know that many of our students face challenges as they navigate life while trying to get an education.  Some struggle not only academically, but also financially, economically and socially, with mental health increasingly on the rise.  The students we serve need our support, guidance and encouragement. I ask each of you – faculty, staff, advisors, counselors –to remain focused on helping students get past any obstacles standing between them and a successful career.  You will hear me speak more throughout the year about strategic direction two, which addresses Student Progression, Retention, and Completion.

I was very pleased to have the Batten Centers opened again.  Thank you, Dr. Woodhouse.

At this time, I want to acknowledge Dr. Megan Taliaferro, Professor of Vet Tech, who is the Batten fellow. I also want to acknowledge Faculty Fellow, Dr. Kelly Gillerlain, who oversees the Portsmouth and Chesapeake Batten Studios and Ms. Debbie Porter, who oversees the Virginia Beach and Norfolk Studios.  Thank you for the great work you are doing.

Going into 2023, we have some exciting things coming up!

The new Visual Arts Center will open, and everyone is excited.  There’s a lot of interest in the new facility.  I think VP Bryant and Faculty Carolyn Phillips have given at least 15 tours during the past several months. 

The Child Care centers on the Norfolk and Portsmouth campuses will open.  Thanks to VP Hardiman for moving this forward. 

We will launch a new industry partner, Rivian, which will train students to service electric vehicles.  Thanks to VP Williams for her energy and efforts to expand workforce.

We are doing a lot with prospective donors and fundraising initiatives.  And we are we are looking forward to announcing major donations to the College this year. Thank you, VP Bryant!

As president of TCC, I stand before you today with the confidence that together, we will continue to meet the high expectations we have set for ourselves, and truly achieve the vision of being the community’s first choice for education, opportunity, partnerships, and innovation.

Again, thank you for this wonderful acknowledgement.  I am deeply honored.  I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I look forward to spending time with you.